Apixaban side effects

Hi all,

I have been taking Apixaban for a couple of months now, as well as Zemtard and Simvastatin. I was taking Warfarin since a heart attack 2 years ago, but as I found it difficult to get to the surgery for INR during opening hours my Doctor offered me Apixaban which I am grateful for. My problem is, gradually since starting Apixaban I feel as though I have trouble swallowing at times. Also muscles I didn't know I had are beginning to hurt. My skin also feels prickly at times. None of this is really in the list of side effects, so I aren't sure whether it is the Apixaban or not. I know advice would be go back to the Doctors but I would like to know if anybody else has had these symptoms. Also would they take this long to have this effect. I did feel really quite good when I first started on them. I don't want to stop taking Apixaban if it isn't the cause as it is so much easier than Warfarin. Any advise or comments I would be very grateful for. Thanks David

29 Replies

  • David, I've not known anyone to have those side effects from the Apixaban, but those are very common side effects from Simvistatin. I hope you feel better soon.

  • I have been taking Apixaban for two years never had any side effects

  • I don't know any of these drugs, but my spouse took statins to lower cholesterol for several years and had similar symptoms, along with muscle fatigue, memory problems, "foggy" thinking, and an episode of transient global amnesia as a little bonus. I understand such reactions to statins are not the norm, but they aren't that rare either.

  • I have been taking Apixaban since August this year and so far have had no side effects from it. Hope you find out what is causing the problems and that you feel better soon.

    Best wishes


  • I had muscle problems develop aftercouple of yearsonSimvastatin. Doctor changed me to Atorvastatin which solved the problems,so far!

  • I have no problems with apixaban. It's probably worth considering a change of statins. Perhaps even stop taking them (the statins that is) for a month to see if the problems go away. Best talk to your doctor before doing that but I'm sure he/she would agree. It would be a shame to mess around with your anti-coagulation when the apixaban is likely to be innocent. Good luck.

  • Hi David.

    I started on Apixaban and Simvisatins in February after a TIA.

    For the first couple of months I had spells of felling Woosey and odd rushes through my body. I actually tripped up in work twice .

    Since then I have no side affects and am really pleased not to have chosen warfarin at the beginning .

    See how it goes. You have different effects than what I had.

    There are other anticoagulant s.

    Good luck


  • David, I've been taking Apixaban for 2 years and have had no side effects so far. It might be a good idea to discuss your symptoms with your doctor as they sound unpleasant.

    Best wishes

  • Hi David. Forgot to mention the Statins.

    There seems to be more comments on side effects for them.

    I probably shouldn't but my cholesterol level came right down after a while so I am taking half a tablet until my next test to see if it stays the same or rises in which case I'll increase it again. But don't tell anyone.

  • Hi

    I have been on Apixaban for a year now with no side effects.

  • Hi DayDay,

    I'm not sure what list of side effects you checked, but on the drugs.com site:


    It says you should contact your doctor immediately if you get (amongst other things):

    - difficulty swallowing

    - hives, itching, skin rash

    - joint pain or swelling

    which seem to match your symptoms.


  • David , also 2 months on Apixiban but no apparent side effects - hopefully continues - I hope you find cause of problem.

  • I am extremely sensitive to most drugs but have been on Apixaban for past four months with no side affects. I think MarkS's reply is very informative and definitely worth a follow up.

  • Statins deplete the body of CoQ10 and the result includes muscle pains. So stopping the statins or supplementing CoQ10 (your doctor should be familiar with this substance) could help to solve the problem. CoQ10 is in every cell, and so is essential.

  • David

    The first thing that you should do is to go your GPs ASAP and get a full set of blood tests done (make sure they include liver, kidney, thyroid, cholesterol, blood sugar). Also get SpO2 checked (I suggest that you buy your own). Ideally blood tests should be before any reductions or stopping of drugs as effects and metabolisms can change even in a day or two. In any event blood tests should be done 3 months after starting either Apixaban or simvastatin (possibly other statins but I don't know). This was what my pharmacist told me 5 months afterwards.

    I will give my own experiences because I think that this might help. I too was suffering from muscle aches, skin being prickly and very itchy, throat and generally unwell. However I mistakenly had put these down to other ailments as I have problems with foot and ankle because of wear and tear and old injuries, back problems and varicose veins in legs (one was stripped 25 years ago) and I was under treatment for those as well as AF!!

    In September last year I was started on simvastatin, Apixaban and Bisoprolol. Beginning of January this year I started warfarin then four days later stopped Apixaban because of having an ablation. Early March picked up warfarin from pharmacy for first time (and other medicines) and was offered a free consultation and medicine review from pharmacist. Booked for the next day and went through things with her and this is when she said that for either (and certainly both) I should have had full set of blood tests. Went to GP and she arranged tests and when they came back I had the practice calling me four or five times because liver function was 4 times the top number. Anyway I immediately had to stop the simvastatin and over the course of the next 6 weeks or so function dropped back to healthy. In essence simvastatin was poisoning me!! Obviously by this point I had been off Apixaban for 9 weeks so it was extremely unlikely that this had caused any effects.

    The problem came about because the GP thought that the hospital would monitor and arrange blood tests and the hospital thought my GP would. I have a really good GP who is on the ball (and is very happy to admit to others that I know more about AF than she does!!!). However according to the pharmacist many in the medical field do not know which medicines need tests (whether initially or annual) and in any event there is often nothing to "catch" those who are due tests and that is how some who should have annual tests (eg for NOACs) can end up not being tested for years. This is why we have to manage ourselves!! In most cases OK but for some..........

    I should also add that during this period my GP had said about me buying an SpO2 tester and this was showing that my levels were in range 89% to 95% whereas normal is 97 to 99%. I had been referred to SA consultant. However I was not being as affected by low levels as many people would because I have very large lungs (I am 6ft but my height is all in my body, fortunately). After stopping the simvastatin by SpO2 levels started creeping upwards and my sleeping became better (still not good though as usually awake a couple of times per night).

  • Hi! David,

    No problems with Dabigatran but see those statins, they caused me no end of problems feeling depressed, ill, aching back across the shoulders and up the neck into the scalp. Miserable! They may be good to support the heart but are an enemy for the cholesterol con. Stopping Simvastatin cured the problem. Read Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's "The Great Cholesterol Con" - cheap copy off 'Amazon'. also Duane Graveline's " Lipitor, Thief of Memory" That will explain it all. Too low a cholesterol is as bad as too high!!

    Get Well, Dave.

  • Have been taking Apixaban for six months now without problem. I am also on medication for diabetes(insulin + Liraglutide + Glimepiride), blood pressure(Ramipril) and Bisoprolol without side effects.

    I hope you find the cause of the problem.

  • My husband developed a rash and itching almost immediately, when taking apixaban, went back onto warfarin, now on riveroxaban which seems to suit him. I have been on apixaban for over 12 months, with seemingly no side efffects.

  • Hi all,

    Thank you all so much for your relies. Its good to hear all your comments. I know I really do need to see my Doctor which I shall try and do next week. I didn't really think about Simvastatin being the problem as I have been on them 2 years but as Koll said he was on them a couple of years before he started having problems. Maybe the different tablets are okay on their own but don't always mix very well. Its interesting the list of side effects you found Mark S seems to be different to what I have with my tablets. Yours certainly match my symptoms. I really am hoping that Apixaban isn't the cause as it is so much easier than Warfarin. I would rather stop the Statin than Apixaban. I'll let you all know how I get on with my GP.

    Thanks for all your support.


  • If it did happen to be Apixaban (if I had to bet then I would bet on simavastatin) then there are other NOACs and some work in different ways.

  • With many medicines side effects can appear months or years later - not just simvastatin. Also the interactions between them can change. As seen we are all different and that is why some are 100% fine on a single medication and others are unwell!!!

    Maybe Apixaban does react with simvastatin in some way.

  • For anyone who finds the trips to clinic for INRS a pain, I do my own with a Coagucheck meter, and only have to phone the result through. They let me know what to take and when to do the next test, so even if I'm away from home, I've got the flexibility you need.

  • Prickly skin yes; muscles not quite responding as before, yes. I now have to pay attention e.g. not to drop things, to swallow sometimes- and to breathe. Autonomic system affected? Nothing I can't cope with - so far...

  • Thanks.

    I did go to the Doctors a while back when I was on Warfarin with the intention of buying a coagucheck meter so I could self test at home. I asked if he would support me in this. That is when he offered me the Apixaban which surprised me and I was grateful for.


  • Hi David my cardiologist told me to stop apixaban for a week to see if my stiff neck and headaches went.stiff neck finally gone after 5 days off it headaches now and again.but the stiffness I had was terrible couldn't get out of the car.don't know what to do as still have odd headache I don't usually get them.any one else have them after and do they eventually go? I have to have alternative at end of month

  • Thanks andy1950 for your comments. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. I stopped taking the Simvastatin 2 weeks ago just to see what would happen. My swallowing has actually got a lot better. My muscles are feeling a bit better but no great improvement yet. So I aren't really sure whether the Statin is the cause of all my problems. I shall probably get wrong tomorrow for stopping the Statin but I remember one Doctor told me he wasn't sure if they did any good anyway. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Hope you will soon feel better Andy.


  • When I stopped simavastatin because it had sent my liver function way out of range it took some 6 to 8 weeks to normalise. I too had been suffering from pains and cramps in my legs.

  • GP has took me off the Simvastatin for another 2 weeks to see if it makes a difference. He also took me off the Apixaban for a month replacing it with Clopidogrel just to cover me for this period. I have in the past tried Dabigatran which I also didn't get on with. If it turns out I do feel a lot better off Apixaban I shall probably end up back on Warfarin. I went on the NOAC's in the first place as I found it difficult to get to the surgery for an INR. If this is the case I will buy my own machine and ring the result through to the GP. I was ok on Warfarin.


  • Hi David, , I developed terrible weakness in legs could hardly walk upstairs when first put on Simvastin was changed to Pravastatin with no side affects. Work checking this out. I got changed from Warfarin to Apixaban 6 months ago no side effects. Good luck.

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